Montane Conservation & Ecology

Mountains are excellent natural laboratories: they contribute significantly to a region's biodiversity, the compressed climatic zones drive rapid changes in flora and fauna communities, high elevations are expected to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and mountains are inspiring places to conduct field work. Some of the research topics I am in the process of exploring in the mountains include:

  • Understanding songbird demography across the elevational gradient to shed insight on potential climate change effects.

  • Determining the effects of hiking trails on songbird abundance, seasonal movements and reproductive success.

  • Understanding the seasonal population fluctuations of red squirrels and their influence as montane songbird nest predators.

  • Unraveling the roles of habitat and climate as drivers of shifting montane bird distributions.

150 bird survey locations across 15 mountains along the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, NH. Elevational transects run from the valley floor to treeline to better understand what determines species distributions along environmental gradients.

William V. DeLuca, Ph.D.

Research Fellow, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Department of Environmental Conservation

University of Massachusetts

Northeast Climate Science Center

wdeluca (at) eco.umass.edu

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